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icy highway

It’s Not a Winter Wonderland Out There!!

Originally posted February 05, 2014 by Sandy Smith on https://ehstoday.com

As another winter storm wallops half the country, let these YouTube videos serve as a reminder to drive carefully on icy and snowy roads.

Unlike other workplaces, the roadway is not a closed environment. Although employers cannot control roadway conditions, they can promote safe driving by providing safety information to workers, well-maintained vehicles and by setting driver safety policies. To protect their employees, employers can follow these and other safe driving tips:

  • Assign a key member of the management team, such as the safety and health professional, responsibility and authority to set and enforce a comprehensive driver safety policy;
  • Set and enforce mandatory seatbelt use;
  • Don’t require employees to drive irregular hours or far beyond their normal working hours;
  • Don’t require workers to conduct business on a cell phone or text while driving;
  • Develop work schedules that allow employees to obey speed limits and to follow applicable hours-of-service regulations.

Employers whose employees drive in areas that experience cold and inclement weather should consider equipping each vehicle with a winter storm kit that includes blankets, a flashlight, cell phone with charger and extra batteries, a shovel, first-aid kit, non-perishable food, extra warm clothes and a water container. Hypothermia is a potentially dangerous exposure during extremely cold winter months. People can suffer from hypothermia when they lose body temperature in cold weather as a result of exposure.

Remember to:

  • Plan ahead and allow plenty of time to travel. Employers should maintain information on employee driving destinations, driving routes and estimated time of arrivals;
  • Maintain safe speeds and safe following distances. Make sure all windows are cleaned off and that snow is removed from headlights and taillights. Avoid over-braking, over-steering and over-accelerating.
  • Make sure vehicles are winterized. Before driving have a mechanic look at the battery, antifreeze, wipers and windshield washer fluid, ignition system, thermostat, lights, flashing hazard lights, exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster, tire tread and oil level and carry a windshield scraper for ice and snow removal;
  • Check weather conditions from the National Weather Service, which provides weather reports and alerts; and
  • Make sure the vehicle has the correct tires for the road conditions.

And if you need a reminder why all of these tips are important, watch a few of these videos:

Cars Sliding & Crashing in Bountiful 400 North (Utah)

Cars Sliding Down a Snowy Hill in Yonkers

Driving Down Icy Hill Road Gathers Cheery Spectators

20 Car Pile-Up Set to Benny Hill

Worst Snow Plower in Chicago

Snow Challenges Drivers on Barrow Road in Little Rock, Ark.

An Idiot Driving in the Snow

Jeep Driving in the Snow Avoiding Stuck Cars

Winter Storm Spin Out POV Dash Camera and Aftermath

Ice Storm Insanity!